Former Google CIO takes payday operation to next level.

I read in TechCrunch that ZestCash, just raised $73 million round of funding. $23 million is equity (Matrix Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, GRP Partners, Flybridge Capital Partners, and Lighthouse Capital Partner) and they secured a $50 million line of credit (Victory Park Capital).

Now they have $73M to play with.  I bet they spend the $23 million on lead acquisition and the $50 million to back loans.  Is this huge news?  I think for a couple of reasons:

  1. The cash advance industry has an image problem.  When high profile people get involved ( Montel Williams shout out?) it brings a higher level of legitimacy.
  2. They’re not Advance America $600M + revenues, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

Here is what I found interesting:

  1. The founder is a Google guy, but he site has very little SEO.  They rank in the top 5 for very few keywords (see below).  This means they’re buying leads.
  2. They’e in four states— Utah, Idaho, Missouri and South Dakota.  I’m surprised that when you place an application from another state, they just say something like, sorry, we’re can’t give you a loan.  They’re not selling unused leads.  They make it clear that they’re going into other states.
  3. They’re not payday loans.  Allegedly, they let you select how much you want to pay?  It’s on their website HERE.

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